PERTH, Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged higher in
early Asian trading on Thursday, after data showing a large
build in U.S. gasoline inventories sent prices lower on
* U.S. crude for February delivery rose 3 cents to
$93.18 a barrel by 0103 GMT.
* Brent crude for February dipped 10 cents to
$111.66 per barrel.
* A Reuters technical analysis on Thursday showed that U.S.
oil still faces a resistance zone of $93.89-$94.17 per barrel,
and may retrace to $91.52. Brent oil still has a bearish target
of $110.50 per barrel, the analysis showed.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed
gasoline inventories rose 7.4 million barrels last week. That
followed a build of nearly 30 million barrels in the final
quarter of 2012. Stocks of crude and distillate fuels also rose.
* The EIA's weekly report also said U.S. crude production
last week rose above 7 million barrels per day for the first
time since 1993.
* The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest
rates at a record low of 0.75 percent on Thursday, refraining
from a cut as the euro zone economy shows some signs of
stabilising and inflation still tops its target.
* All four big BRIC economies posted a rise in economic
activity in the last quarter of 2012, with Chinese manufacturing
returning to growth for the first time in 18 months, according
to HSBC's emerging markets index (EMI).
* Asian shares steadied on Thursday following an overnight
rise in global equities on early optimism about U.S. earnings,
but investors remained cautious ahead of China's trade data and
the European Central Bank meeting later in the day.
* The yen was on the defensive near a 2 1/2-year low on
Thursday on expectations Bank of Japan policy will take a fresh
and bold approach to boost inflation later this month.
The following data is expected on Thursday:
0745 France Industrial output mm Nov 2012
1200 Britain BOE Bank Rate Jan 2013
1330 U.S. Jobless claims Weekly
1530 U.S. EIA natural gas stocks Weekly
2350 Japan Bank lending yy Dec 2012
(Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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